Double Orphan Pension
Helps with the costs of caring for orphaned children or children who are unable to be cared for by their parents.
- care for the child at least 35% of the time, and either
- both parents are deceased
- one parent is deceased and the other parent is imprisoned for at least 10 years, in a psychiatric institution or nursing home for an indefinite period, their whereabouts are unknown, or
- the child is a refugee and both parents are outside of Australia or their whereabouts are unknown
Eligibility & payment rates
You may be eligible for Double Orphan Pension if all of the following apply:
- you provide care for the child at least 35% of the time
- you get Family Tax Benefit for the child, or would but your family's income is too high, or the child receives a prescribed education payment, such as ABSTUDY or Veterans' Children Education Scheme
- the child is younger than 16 years of age, or a full time student 16 to 19 years of age and they don’t get Youth Allowance - a person 19 years of age will be eligible for Double Orphan Pension up to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19 years of age as long as they’re in full time secondary study
- the child doesn’t get an orphan pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and
- you and the child satisfy residency requirements
One of the following must also apply:
- the child's parents or adoptive parents are both deceased
- the child is a refugee and hasn’t lived in Australia at any time with one or both parents, and the child’s parents are outside Australia or their whereabouts are unknown, or
- one of the child's parents is deceased and the other parent is:
- imprisoned for at least 10 years
- on remand for an offence punishable by a term of at least 10 years imprisonment
- in a psychiatric institution or nursing home for an indefinite period, or
- of unknown whereabouts
You don’t have to meet any tests for income or assets to be eligible for this payment.
Double Orphan Pension is paid at $62 per fortnight and isn’t taxed.
You may get an additional amount depending on the amount of Family Tax Benefit paid for the child immediately before they became an orphan.
Payment rates are adjusted on 1 January each year. To make sure you’re receiving the correct payment amount, your payment will be reviewed every 2 years or when your circumstances change.
To be eligible for Double Orphan Pension, you must satisfy residence requirements.
You must be living in Australia and:
- have Australian citizenship
- hold a permanent visa
- hold a special category visa, or
- hold either a Partner Provisional or Temporary Protection visa
The child must also meet residence requirements or be living with you. You must also continue to meet residence requirements for the duration of the payment.
If you have lived or worked in a country with which Australia has an international social security agreement, it may help you meet residence requirements.
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- find out what you need before you start your claim
- register an intent to claim
- complete the claim form
- provide supporting documents
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you’re receiving Double Orphan Pension. For example, if:
- the child receives an orphan pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- your personal circumstances change
- you no longer meet residence requirements
- you change your address
- your care arrangements change, or
- you or the child leave Australia, even for a short time
Doing the right thing is easy:
- tell us about any changes to your circumstances as soon as possible, and
- regularly check that your information is up to date through your myGov account
It’s never too late to report a change. By telling us about any changes today, we can help make sure you get the correct payment.
If you’ve received payments you’re not eligible for, you may have to repay the amount. Having to repay a debt may be difficult but choosing not to tell us when your circumstances change could lead to far more serious consequences.
If you deliberately don’t tell us when your circumstances change, you could be committing fraud.
There are rules about how long your Double Orphan Pension can be paid while you, or the children for whom you receive this payment, travel outside Australia.
If you want someone else to handle your Centrelink, Child Support or Medicare business, you can authorise them to deal with us on your behalf.
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
Getting control of your money can be hard, but we’ve got some great advice and tools to help. Read more about budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt, to help manage your money.
Select the options that describe your circumstances, then explore a list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.